The State of Welfare Caseloads in America’s Cities: 1999

Bruce Katz and
Bruce Katz Founding Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab - Drexel University
Katherine Allen

February 1, 1999

While national and state welfare caseloads have dropped substantially since 1993, there is some evidence that welfare caseloads are not declining as precipitously in our cities, where poverty is often concentrated. In May 1998, the Center released preliminary findings on welfare caseload declines in 23 major cities and urban counties. While there is no clear or simple trend that defines the overall experiences of the cities studied, the one stark finding is that cities and urban counties that have greater poverty and concentrated poverty have a more difficult time reducing their welfare caseloads.